“Always deliver more than is expected “               

 Larry Page Co-Founder of Google

Department Vision Statement/ Curriculum Intent

As a department we aim to equip all students with the drive, determination and character needed to succeed in a global and ever changing business world.

We aim to inspire a creative entrepreneurial spirit within students which is founded on self-confidence, perseverance and honest hard work.

In the words of Estee Lauder “I never dreamed of success, I worked for it”




Year 10 - KS4 - Exam Board Edexcel



The course comprises of two written examinations that are based around interlinked topics.

Topic 1:
Enterprise and Entrepreneurship

Why new business ideas come about:

  • Changes in technology
  • Changes in what consumers want
  • Products and services becoming obsolete.


How new business ideas come about:

  • Original ideas
  • Adapting existing products/services/ideas.


The role of business enterprise and the purpose of business activity:

  • To produce goods or services
  • To meet customer needs
  • To add value: convenience, branding, quality, design, unique selling points.


“Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” Richard Branson


Students are introduced to the dynamic nature of business in relation to how and why business ideas come about and the hard work needed to be successful. They also explore the impact of risk and reward on business activity and the role of entrepreneurship.


They will study a range of successful entrepreneurs and explore the factors of their success. This will take a close look at the role of creativity and enterprise in a business’s ability to grow and survive.

Curriculum Booklet

Seneca Learning (online)

Recommended Revision Guide:

The pocket size revision Guide, Daydream education

GCSE Business, Edexcel, CGP Books


Topic Why? Resources
Topic 2:
Spotting a business opportunity

Identifying and understanding customer needs:

  • What customer needs are: price, quality, choice, convenience
  • The importance of identifying and understanding customers: generating sales, business survival.


The purpose of market research:

  • To identify and understand customer needs
  • To identify gaps in the market
  • To reduce risk
  • To inform business decisions.


Methods of market research:

  • Primary research: survey, questionnaire, focus group, observation
  • Secondary research: Internet, market reports, government reports.


The use of data in market research: 

  • Qualitative and quantitative data
  • The role of social media in collecting market research data
  • The importance of the reliability of market research data.



Students will explore how new and small businesses identify opportunities through understanding customer needs and conducting market research. They will also focus on understanding the competition. They will learn essential research skills including how and when to use both primary and secondary research.


Bill Gates said that “your most unhappy customer is your greatest source of learning”. Students will study the importance of the customer to a business and get the chance to develop their service skills by practising in a range of scenarios.

Curriculum Booklet

Seneca Learning (online)

Recommended Revision Guide:

The pocket size revision Guide, Daydream education

GCSE Business, Edexcel, CGP Books


Putting a business idea into practice

What business aims and business objectives are. Business aims and objectives when starting up:

  • Financial aims and objectives: survival, profit, sales, market share, financial security
  • Non-financial aims and objectives: social objectives, personal satisfaction, challenge, independence and control.
  • Why aims and objectives differ between businesses.

The concept and calculation of:

  • revenue
  • fixed and variable costs
  • total costs 
  • profit and loss
  • interest
  • break-even level of output
  • Margin of safety.

Interpretation of break-even diagrams: the impact of changes in revenue and costs, break-even level of output, margin of safety, profit and loss.

The importance of cash to a business:

  • To pay suppliers, overheads and employees
  • To prevent business failure (insolvency)
  • The difference between cash and profit.

Calculation and interpretation of cash-flow forecasts:

  • cash inflows
  • cash outflows
  • net cash flow
  • opening and closing balances

This topic focuses on making a business idea happen through identifying aims and objectives and concentrating on the financial aspects. Students will look at successful businesses from previous units and look at how they put their ideas into practice and what factors led to them being successful.

Students will also learn the internal and external factors that effect a business and what they do to plan and respond to these changes. They will learn about the importance of planning and the techniques businesses use to analyse these factors and plan for different scenarios.

Making the business effective

The concept of limited liability:

  • Limited and unlimited liability
  • The implications for the business owner(s) of limited and unlimited liability. The types of business ownership for start-ups:
  • Sole trader, partnership, private limited company the advantages and disadvantages of each type of business ownership.

The option of starting up and running a franchise operation and the advantages and disadvantages of franchising.

Factors influencing business location:

  • Proximity to: market, labour, materials and competitors
  • Nature of the business activity
  • The impact of the Internet on location decisions: e-commerce and/or fixed premises.

What the marketing mix is and the importance of each element:

Price, product, promotion, place.

How the elements of the marketing mix work together:

  • Balancing the marketing mix based on the competitive environment
  • The impact of changing consumer needs on the marketing mix
  • the impact of technology on the marketing

Framed around the central question of “what makes an effective business?” students will explore a range of factors that impact on the success of the business, including location, the marketing mix and the business plan.

Students will again revisit the businesses explored in previous terms and look at what makes them effective. What was it about the opportunities they exploited and the practises they employed that made them successful.

Students will also look at businesses that were not successful and explore how a failure to review practises and plan for change can lead to business failure.

Understanding external influences on business

Who business stakeholders are and their different objectives:

  • Shareholders (owners), employees, customers, managers, suppliers, local community, pressure groups, the government.

Stakeholders and businesses:

  • How stakeholders are affected by business activity
  • How stakeholders impact business activity possibly conflicts between stakeholder groups.

The impact of the economic climate on businesses:

  • Unemployment, changing levels of consumer income, inflation, changes in interest rates, government taxation, changes in exchange rates.

The importance of external influences on business:

  • Possible responses by the business to changes in: technology, legislation, the economic climate.

Building on the work undertaken in term 3, students are introduced in detail to a range of factors, many of which are outside of the immediate control of the business, such as stakeholders, technology, legislation and the economy. Students will explore how businesses plan and respond to these influences.

This will include taking a closer look at the effects modern technology has had on businesses and how embracing this is becoming important for a business’s survival. They will look at the impact of automation and the affect that has had on different industries

Students will also explore how laws are made and the affect these have on both the business and the employee. They will study the rights and responsibilities of both.

Consolidation and Review

This term will be spent studying a number of case studies that threaten all of these key topics together. They will look at a range of businesses in different contexts and explore how the central ideas learnt throughout the year contribute to business success.

Students will revise and prepare for a firm mock assessment for paper one. This paper also provides opportunities to cover the key basics of business studies and essential subject terminology. These will also be revisited.

Year 11 - KS4 - Exam Board Edexcel a

TOPIC WHY? Resources
Topic 1
Growing the business

Each topic in year 11 builds on the foundation knowledge built into the year 10 curriculum.

  • Methods of business growth and their impact: internal (organic) growth: new products (innovation, research and development)
  • New markets (through changing the marketing mix or taking advantage of technology and/or expanding overseas)
  • External (inorganic) growth: merger, takeover.

Why business aims and objectives change as businesses evolve in response to market conditions, technology, performance, legislation, internal reasons.

How business aims and objectives change as businesses evolve:

  • Focus on survival or growth
  • Entering or exiting markets
  • Growing or reducing the workforce
  • Increasing or decreasing product range.

Students are introduced to methods of growth and how and why business aims and objectives change as businesses evolve. The impact of globalisation and the ethical and environmental questions facing businesses are explored.

Curriculum Booklet

Seneca Learning (online)

Recommended Revision Guide:

The pocket size revision Guide, Daydream education

GCSE Business, Edexcel, CGP Books


Optic 2
Making marketing decisions

The design mix: function, aesthetics, cost.

The product life cycle:

  • The phases of the product life cycle
  • Extension strategies.
  • The importance to a business of differentiating a product/ service.

How each element of the marketing mix can influence other elements.

Using the marketing mix to build competitive advantage.

How an integrated marketing mix can influence competitive advantage.

Students will explore how each element of the marketing mix is managed and used to inform and make business decisions in a competitive marketplace.

Students will also learn about the key concepts that make up the marketing mix including a detailed look at price, promotion and place.

Curriculum Booklet

Seneca Learning (online)

Recommended Revision Guide:

The pocket size revision Guide, Daydream education

GCSE Business, Edexcel, CGP Books


Topic 3
Making operational decisions

The purpose of business operations:

  • To produce goods
  • To provide services.

Production processes:

  • Different types: job, batch, flow
  • The impact of different types of production process: keeping productivity up and costs down and allowing for competitive prices.
  • Impacts of technology on production: balancing cost, productivity, quality and flexibility.

The role of procurement: Relationships with suppliers: quality, delivery (cost, speed, reliability), availability, cost, trust.

The impact of logistics and supply decisions on: costs, reputation, customer satisfaction.

This topic focuses on meeting customer needs through the design, supply, quality and sales decisions a business makes.

They will also look at the sales process in detail and have the opportunity to develop their sales skills.

Curriculum Booklet

Seneca Learning (online)

Recommended Revision Guide:

The pocket size revision Guide, Daydream education

GCSE Business, Edexcel, CGP Books
Topic 4
Making financial decisions

The concept and calculation of:

  • Gross profit
  • Net profit

Calculation and interpretation of:

  • Gross profit margin
  • Net profit margin
  • Average rate of return.

The use and interpretation of quantitative business data to support, inform and justify business decisions:

  • Information from graphs and charts
  • Financial data
  • Marketing data
  • Market data.

The use and limitations of financial information in:

  • Understanding business performance
  • Making business decisions.

Students will explore the tools a business has to support financial decision making, including ratio analysis and the use and limitation of a range of financial information.

Curriculum Booklet

Seneca Learning (online)

Recommended Revision Guide:

The pocket size revision Guide, Daydream education

GCSE Business, Edexcel, CGP Books


Topic 5
Making human resource decisions

Different organisational structures and when each are appropriate:

  • Hierarchical and flat
  • Centralised and decentralised.

The importance of effective communication:

  • The impact of insufficient or excessive communication on efficiency and motivation barriers to effective communication.

Different ways of working:

  • Part-time, full-time and flexible hours permanent, temporary, and freelance contracts

The impact of technology on ways of working: efficiency, remote working.

Different job roles and responsibilities:

  • Key job roles and their responsibilities: directors, senior managers, supervisors/team leaders, operational and support staff.

How businesses recruit people:

  • Documents: person specification and job description, application form, CV
  • Recruitment methods used to meet different business needs (internal and external recruitment).

Growing a business means that decisions relating to organisational structure, recruitment, training and motivation need to be made to influence business activity. These aspects are considered in this final topic.

Students will also look at how businesses hire, train, develop and motivate staff.

“Quality means doing things right when nobody is looking” Henry Ford

Curriculum Booklet

Seneca Learning (online)

Recommended Revision Guide:

The pocket size revision Guide, Daydream education

GCSE Business, Edexcel, CGP Books


Revision and Exam Preparation